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Jason Brilz and Jake Ellenberger are Losing Their Day Jobs, You Guys

(Maybe it’s not too late to learn to hit the 3-wood, Jase. Pic: Some Blog)

Well, this is just about the most pussy thing we’ve ever heard: Sherdog reports this week that UFC B-listers Jason Brilz and Jake Ellenberger are likely out of their jobs as assistant wrestling coaches at University of Nebraska-Omaha, as the university plans to scratch its powerhouse grappling program while making the jump to Division I.

A longtime juggernaut at the NCAA Division II level, UNO reportedly has designs on joining something called the Summit League, a D-I conference that includes such bastions of higher learning as Oral Roberts, Southern Utah and Western Illinois but does not offer wrestling or football. As a result – and despite the fact the Maverick grapplers have won six national titles in the last eight years – the school plans to cut both sports, replacing them with (holy fucking shit) men’s golf and soccer. Are you kidding me? Men’s golf? To make matters worse, Brilz reports UNO brass called longtime wrestling coach Mike Denney to let him know they were axing his whole program the same night the team won its third consecutive national title.

“Our coach got a call seriously an hour after we won the title,” Brilz says. “I guess it points to what sports are becoming. Our coach has been there 32 years. He built this program. He made it dominant. He’s been loyal to the school.  He could have gone to Division I if he wanted, but he was loyal to the program and he worked his butt off.”

Now, here’s where it gets really weird. The school – as they almost always do – is citing financial concerns as its reason for dropping wrestling and football and Athletics Director Trev Alberts (yes, apparently the same dude who used to co-host ESPN’s “College GameDay” football show) released an explanatory statement full of BS and academic double talk, like: “This was an effort to look at UNO achieving long-term sustainability and relevancy in this market. Heretofore, blah, blah, blah,” Alberts said.

So, yeah, follow the money, essentially. Yet check out what Brilz says about the finances of the wrestling team:

“We’ve always been under budget,” the light heavyweight fighter says. “Our budget is $21,000. That’s what the school pays for all our travel and everything. So we raise almost $80,000 every year by putting on clinics, tournaments and golf outings. We could go move into the Missouri Valley Conference or the Western Athletic Conference. One of those. We could go in there and compete. I think another conference would welcome us with open arms.”

We’re not college-level administrators, obviously, but (assuming what Brilz says is true) we can’t possibly see how just scrapping one of your most prestigious and allegedly in-the-black athletic programs makes any kind of sense at all. Prior to today, the only reason we’ve ever even heard of the University of Nebraska-Omaha is because we’ve watched them win national wrestling championships on TV before. So, smooth move, Trev. Have fun getting shitcanned by the South Dakota State Jackrabbits in the Summit Conference championship of men’s fucking golf every year. We’re sure that’ll getcha on TV.

But, wait. Sherdog says there is a slim chance to save the UNO wrestling program. It reads as follows:

“The University of Nebraska Board of Regents is holding a special meeting to review the university’s decision to drop the programs. In order for the move to become official, the panel must approve the university’s decision. The Board of Regents will vote on Friday, March 25 to decide the fate of UNO wrestling and football.”

“We’re just praying for a miracle,” Brilz says.

Great, now we’re mad. Nice way to end a Friday. Happy weekend, everybody.

Cagepotato Comments

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newdeal- March 19, 2011 at 11:18 am
And to top it all off brilz got robbed by the judges against little nog.
yanktonirishred- March 19, 2011 at 10:05 am
They are idiots. SDSU (yeah South Dakota State University, my alma mater) just plays football in a different conference and wrestles in yet another Conference. Why drop programs you have been dominant in for new sports. Ludicrous. I wonder if reasoning like this is why they weren't invited to make the D1 jump originally when the NCC broke up or into the Summit League originally.
Some very dominate wrestlers from the area I would gladly see recruited to SDSU, but shuttering a program as successful as the Mavs wrestling program has been is just asinine.
No Leftovers- March 19, 2011 at 7:02 am
If you think club wrestling has any comparison to Nebraska-Omaha's program you are literally crazy. Those guys wouldn't be happy smashing a bunch of wannabe's up and down the mat all day. D-1 club guys make every D-3 guy look like an all-american.
Bare Grappler- March 19, 2011 at 6:47 am
Title IX not only goes by number of sports, it goes by number of scholarships. They would have to increase scholarships to go to Division 1 in Football & Wrestling, and therefore to create scholarships for women they would have to create new women's sports that always lose money (and wouldn't have a conference to play in).

Being in a conference is not necessary for Wrestling as many schools (like Boise St) participate in a different conference or independently. It's the fact they would have to create a new women's sport is why they are doing it. Fuck Title IX.
Me likey- March 19, 2011 at 5:21 am
Seems like a lot of people are missing the fact that these guys need day jobs.
thej6m- March 18, 2011 at 10:30 pm
First off as a student at Oakland University, the powerhouse of the summit league, the summit league's academic creditionals are pretty good. Secondly, as a "B-team" member of the Oakland wrestling team I can say that, at the club level, several schools in the Summit League have very competitive wrestling clubs. The majority of D-1 schools are cutting their wrestling programs and entering the Summit League's club program isn't the step down as it sounds. GO GRIZZLIES!
amsterdamheavy- March 18, 2011 at 8:06 pm
[i]“The University of Nebraska Board of Regents is holding a special meeting to review the university’s decision to drop the programs. In order for the move to become official, the panel must approve the university’s decision. The Board of Regents will vote on Friday, March 25 to decide the fate of UNO wrestling and football.”[/i]

Better call the Alumni Association and get them to that meeting.
PhantomGreen- March 18, 2011 at 6:46 pm
Don't forget to mention that Trev Alberts is also an All-American linebacker and Butkus Award winner at Nebraska. I'm sure it was really difficult deciding the fate of those programs. GBR
RwilsonR- March 18, 2011 at 4:37 pm
Didn't really read the article since I'm actually doing some work today, but it sounds like Title IX strikes again.
LDZPPLN- March 18, 2011 at 4:35 pm
whats up with CP always ending their titles with ,you guys? sounds like they just recieved this information in an emergency phone call and ran into a room to tell everyone.
intercept440- March 18, 2011 at 4:22 pm
only thing they would have to do is have a set of unified rules , similar to Ametuer promotions to work with, they could have tournements and the whole nine yards...culminating into the NCAA U.S. BJJ or MMA championships.....i smell a winner

#seriously Ben give me dana's phone number , i know you still got it on caller id bro
intercept440- March 18, 2011 at 4:20 pm
seems to me like the time is ripe for college athletics to get into BJJ or MMA sports... think about it, colleges could market there own BJJ or MMA gear and obtain sponsors for the schools from top name companies, that would go along way to making some extra scratch for the college, And be another place for the mainstream MMA orginazation ( UFC ) to pull up and comers from

# man anyone got Dana's Phone number so i can pitch this to him??
Uppercut Magnet- March 18, 2011 at 4:07 pm
Maybe it's because wrestling looks pretty gay.

BJJ isn't because the gi makes it all eastern and therefore mystical.